Stephen James O'Meara's secret sky: Poetry in motion
April 2007: When observing planets, perception is not reality.
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd, written in 1865, is Walt Whitman's greatest elegy on the death of President Abraham Lincoln. In it, Venus symbolizes the assassinated president. The planet's nightly march toward the western horizon represents the Great Emancipator's last days on Earth. And the planet's passage beneath the western horizon mirrors Lincoln's death, the poet's grief, and the ultimate fate of all.